And once again…another month goes by without a post here. But see? I do get out! The picture above was from the Adele concert we saw in Toronto on October 6th. Awww….we had such good seats, didn’t we? And it was an AMAZING night. It was a privilege to be in the same room with her.
One of the most interesting things about Adele is that she talks a lot about the reasons behind her songs, her inspiration, and how she felt about them then vs. how she feels now. That really stuck with me. I’m sure it’s the same for people doing any type of creative thing. You remember what you were feeling when you created that “thing”, what inspired it, and how it affected you to make it. Songs can always bring about a memory, but is it the same for books? Maybe for the author, but maybe for the reader as well.
I can tell you clearly why I wrote each of the books I’ve completed. For some, I was in a good place, and they were exciting to write. For others, it has been more of a struggle, full of doubt and heartache. But since it usually takes me a year or more to write a book, the feelings can change. So, if I started something in a good place, excited to write, but the year went downhill, the feelings behind the book can be quite different for me once I’m finished. A story really does take on the moods of the author, which is the same for songwriting.
But I can also tell you what books I was reading during specific times in my life. I remember one long, miserable summer when I read Barbara Kingsolver’s THE POISONWOOD BIBLE, and how the heat that year really made the book’s Congo setting come to life for me. I remember reading THE HOT ZONE by Richard Preston during a flight that I was particularly nervous about, but the story engulfed me so quickly, I hardly noticed the passage of time. And I remember a book my mother brought to me (I can’t remember the title, but can clearly see the cover…..black with white lettering and a gun…..oh, the librarian struggles are real, people!), when I was in the hospital for several days recovering from near-pneumonia. THE HOUSE OF SAND AND FOG by Andre Dubus III will always be the story I think of when I go back to the earliest days of the relationship with the man who would become my husband. All of these books have become much more than their stories—they are intertwined with the feelings and thoughts I was having during those times when I was reading them.
In fact, I’m sure we can all recapture bits of our past simply by picking up a book we read during those times, all the way back to childhood. So, while music might put us in a certain time or place in our lives, most of us can probably still hold a loved book in our hands and time-travel. I guess that’s something I hope my books will do for someone else one day.
Do you have a particular book you recall reading during an important time in your life? How did it affect you? If you’ve re-read it, do you still feel the same way? I’d love to know! Leave me a comment…..